With Autism, everyone’s a bit different. Awareness of what it’s like to live with autism is growing; still communicating and understanding the spectrum of experiences with Autism can be difficult.
Difficulties can range from severe sensory and physical issues to social difficulties, everything in-between and beyond.
Thankfully, there are a growing number of awesome games (most produced by people with Autism) that allow us to step into their world.
1. An Aspie Life
A day in the life.
Brad Hennessy a 16-year-old lives with Asperger’s Syndrome and wanted a way to explain to people what it was like to live with autism, over the course of 2 years he created the PC game “An Aspie Life”.
Set in an uncomfortable dark and moody world intended to create a sense of social anxiety; you make your way through the world trying to do everyday tasks while carefully balancing your emotions and health levels, talking to people is a battle (literally), others in the world are dark shady outlines making their body language impossible to see.
How you interact with other characters in the game and how the player deals with the overwhelming sounds and light, affects how the game ends. “An Aspie Life” is an amazing insight into living with autism, with beautiful retro style 8 bit art and mood-setting music, it’s a game worth playing.
“An Aspie Life” it’s available for free and in the browser here.
Play as an autistic child on the playground.
Feel what it’s like as a child with autism on the school playground; In Auti-Sim you see the blinding blur of colour and deafening noise of the other children as they assault your senses in the daily ritual of school.
This overwhelming barrage keeps you on the edge of the playground isolated from other children, you try and approach only for the noise to increase to an unbearable level clouding your vision.
Auti-Sim is free and was created in just 2 days by a team in Vancouver for the annual Games for a Change Game Festival, it’s goal is to increase awareness and understanding of the sensory difficulties that children with Autism experience on a daily basis.
Aut-sim is free and can be played in the browser here.
3. Max, an Autistic Journey
Adventure through life as Max an Autistic 10-year-old.
A father and son team created Max, an Autistic Journey, this retro role-playing game story is about the son’s struggles with autism filled with mini-games, monsters, and heart.
The player steps into the shoes of Max, an imaginative ten-year-old boy who must find ways to deal with everyday life while being diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The world is familiar but also a bit alien, you develop skills to battle monsters of emotions and confront anxiety and fear to level up.
Whilst the representations of monsters are fantasy, the struggles are real, regardless of where you fall in the spectrum of life, Max: an Autistic Journey delivers an entertaining, imaginative, and informative adventure.
Bonus Round!: There’s an additional downloadable add-on for Max’s Birthday, wake-up eager to celebrate, Explore a dream castle, rush through traffic and meet your friends.
You can buy and play Max: An Autistic Journey for $5.99 on the Steam Platform.
Proceeds from the game get donated to the Miriam Foundation, a charitable organization that helps people with autism spectrum disorders and intellectual disabilities lead fulfilling lives.
Understanding others can be hard. Especially when their experiences and struggles are outside our own.
These games have been created with passion and a driving desire to help others. They create start a conversation about Autism to bring avenues of support to those who need them.